Thursday, January 10, 2008

Maybe the CA really is the accused's best hope for relief

NIMJ's web site has posted this article from JURIST reporting that the convening authority has disapproved the finding of guilty in the court-martial of LTC Steven L. Jordan. JURIST reports that LTC Jordan was "the only commissioned officer charged in connection to the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal." The finding of guilty, however, was limited to a charge that he violated an order by discussing the investigation of alleged abuse at Abu Ghraib.

We previously discussed the Jordan case here, here, here, and here.

10 comments:

L.C. Sandlapper said...

No question...the CA routinely grants this kind of relief. We just never hear about it b/c those cases aren't high profile. (If you could see me right now, you'd see my tongue in my cheek). What a joke. An LTC gets tagged at a GCM and the CA decides to give him a pass. I'd like to see the same case with a PFC.

db cooper said...

Speaking anecdotally, I have seen it happen in cases of enlisted service members where (like LTC Jordan) the fact finder acquits the accused of the gravamen charges, but convicts on the pesky add-on charge. The most common examples are cases where an accused is charged with rape and some minor offense that accompanied the sexual intercourse, e.g., adultery or underage drinking. If the panel acquits on the rape but convicts on the adultery or underage drinking, the latter should not stand. Instead of expressing cynicism, why not applaud a CA for concluding that it was unfair for the accused to be saddled with a federal conviction for the minor offense?
This is particularly the case where other officers deeply involved in Abu G somehow dodged a court-martial while a minor player like LTC Jordan was the only one left without a chair when the music stopped.

Roscoe P. Coltraine said...

Anonymous,

So, hundreds of mids take advantage of drunk females each semester? Interesting....

Harry Paratestes said...

DB Cooper,

Please expand on your comment about "other officrs deeply involved" in the Abu Ghraib scandal skirting punishment. I'm dying to know who you think should be charged. It's not too late...we can still string them up by their buster browns.

Anonymous said...

Well, to get this discussion back on track, the CAAF's language is proven, once again, to not be empty. Action is, indeed, the accused's best chance at relief. Happens every day. And, it would probably happen more if defense counsel would take clemency more seriously.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the last commentator, to the extent that it would happen if defense counsel took their job more seriously. Actually, it would happen more often if SJA's lived up to their responsibilities more often.

Anonymous said...

Who in the world thinks that the CA is the accused's best hope for relief?!? If anything it's CAAF four years after the fact. FYI, There is an interesting article recently in the Naval Law Review about this very subject.

Also, I think that most DC put in clemency knowing that many SJA's, who often have zero miljus experience, would never recommend it to the CA for a myriad of reasons. Clemency is a vestige of a bygone era that serves little purpose and it, along with SJAR's and CA's actions, just become grist for the appellate mill.

Anonymous said...

Who in the world thinks that the CA is the accused's best hope for relief?!? If anything it's CAAF four years after the fact. FYI, There is an interesting article recently in the Naval Law Review about this very subject.

Also, I think that most DC put in clemency knowing that many SJA's, who often have zero miljus experience, would never recommend it to the CA for a myriad of reasons. Clemency is a vestige of a bygone era that serves little purpose and it, along with SJAR's and CA's actions, just become grist for the appellate mill.

db cooper said...

Harry, the two that immediately come to mind are BG Karpinksi and COL Pappas, who commanded Abu G itself and the Military Intelligence Brigade at Abu G, respectively.

Roscoe, I've never served at the Naval Academy, and I can't speak for what goes on there. But at any large military installation, hardly a month goes by without a he-said-she-said barracks rape involving young, stupid, intoxicated kids.

Sir Winston Churchill said...

Not much goes on at the Naval Academy, except of course for the rampant and wide spread buggery. After all, I once described Navy life as "Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash"